Jewish Tales of Mystic Joy / Edition 1

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Can mysticism be joyful, even fun? According to storyteller Yitzhak Buxbaum, the editor of this inspiring collection of tales, Jewish mysticism leads to bliss, ecstasy, happiness, and humor. These traditional tales about people who "went all the way" will let you taste the mystic joy that accompanies intense devotion and life lived to the very fullest. Profound and entertaining, these stories prove that ecstatic laughter and ecstatic mourning come from the same pot and that only deep spiritual experience, only joy, can lead you to your own spiritual fulfillment.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787962722
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/14/2002
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,470,522
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Yitzhak Buxbaum is a maggid, a traditional Jewish storyteller and teacher, who specializes in mysticism, spirituality, and Hasidic tales. He is the author of nine books including Jewish Spiritual Practices, Storytelling and Spirituality in Judaism, and An Open Heart: The Mystic Path of Loving People. Yitzhak teaches at The New School University and resides in New York City.
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Table of Contents

Smicha as a Maggid
Note to the Reader
Introduction 1
Mystic Joy 1
Mystical and Joyful Hasidism 3
The Relationship Between Mysticism and Joy 5
Tracing Joy to Its Source 5
Joy in His Place 7
Joy Above and Below 7
Loving Joy and Hating Sadness 8
God Is with Us 11
Joy and Judaism 14
About the Tales 16
The Tales 19
Rabbi Yisrael Baal Shem Tov 21
The Baal Shem Tov's Parable of the Fiddler 22
The Baal Shem Tov Dances with the Spiritual Torah 23
Heikel the Water Carrier 24
The Parable of the Sweeper 27
His Disciples Dance on the New Moon 28
With Joy and with Sadness 29
The Joy of Jewishness 35
Inheriting a Treasure 35
A Jew Lives Here! 37
A Real Jew 38
The Bach's Partner in Heaven 44
Even the Least Devotion Is Precious 48
The Joy of Sabbaths and Holidays 53
The Parable of the King's Letter 55
The Two Thrones 56
Sabbath like the Chernovitzer 66
Hasidic Snowmen 68
A Hasid Persecuted for His Joy 70
Simhat Torah Joy on Yom Kippur 80
Rejoicing at Your Brother's Simha 87
The Baal Shem Tov About Joy on Tu BeShvat 88
The Dance of Tu BeShvat 90
How Joy and Love Can Conquer Hate 95
Rebbe David of Dinov Celebrates Purim 96
A Prison Seder 100
Dancing with Your Archenemy 105
Portraits in the Ecstasy of Joy 108
Rebbe Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev 109
The Stained Tallis 111
Rebbe Shlomo of Zevill 114
Ecstasy from Tefillin 115
The Rebbe's Holy Dancing 116
Rabbi Yaakov Filmer 116
It's Good! 119
Rabbi Yaakov Arye of Radzimin 120
Thou Shalt Not Steal 121
An Unforgettable Dance 122
The Hidden Light 124
Flashes of Godliness 126
The Effect of Viewing a Holy Face 128
The Holy Clock 130
How to Be Joyful 136
The Baal Shem Tov Learns Love of God from a Shepherd 137
Rebbe Zusya Never Afflicted 139
Rebbe Zusya About Joy and Anger 141
Dancing into Gehinnom 144
The Shirt of a Happy Man 147
Somersaulting for the Holy Flock of Lambs 148
Somersaulting for the Glory of God 149
Dancing into Jerusalem 152
Dancing in Ecstasy 155
Watching the Grandfather Dance 156
The Revelation in Dancing 157
The Dance of Parting 158
The Dance of Holy Friendship 161
Dancing with God 162
Lost in a World of Delight 163
Forgetfulness 163
No One Noticed 164
Ravished 166
Living with the Times 167
Eating in Ecstasy 171
Rabbi Yaakov Koppel Dances Before the Table 172
A Holy Meal in a Sukkah in Tiberias 173
Happiness Even While Suffering 178
The Old Man Coughing 179
Poverty and Bliss 180
The Rebbe of Azarov's White Beard 182
The World of Pure Joy 183
Revived by a Song 185
Joy and Ecstasy Remove Suffering 187
From My Naked Flesh I Would See God! 190
Reb Arele's Sukkot 192
Joy Saves from Death 196
Only Joy, for There Is No Bad, No Trouble, No Sadness, No Death 197
An Ecstatic Passing 205
Joy Until the Final Moment of Life 206
The Joy of Humor 210
The Joy of a Wedding 212
Telling Jokes for the Sake of God 219
The Secret of Dying 222
The Dancing Bear 225
The Power of Joy 226
Progress and Priorities 228
More Important Than Ecstasy 228
In the Subway 231
The Joy of a Holy Brother 241
Notes 249
Glossary 263
The Author 269
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